By Robert Gjerdingen
Song within the Galant type is an authoritative and comfortably comprehensible learn of the middle compositional form of the eighteenth century. Gjerdingen adopts a distinct method, in line with an important yet little-known corpus of pedagogical workbooks utilized by the main influential academics of the century, the Italian partimenti. He has introduced this important repository of compositional tools into war of words with a suite of schemata distilled from a huge physique of eighteenth-century track, a lot of it recognized in basic terms to experts, formative of the "galant style."
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Extra resources for Music in the Galant Style
In the brief rulebooks or regole sometimes attached to collections of partimenti, the ®-(D-(D . . bass of the Romanesca was described as prima di tono, quinta di tono, sesta di tono, and so on. Thus my scale-degree markings are less a modern gloss than a graphic depiction of indigenous galant concepts. In eighteenth-century terms, the above basses represent partimenti semplici or basic patterns shorn of ornament. Florid basses, with the underlying longer notes "diminished" into shorter notes, were far more common.
In particular, I bypass the doleful inventory of chromatic depictions of woe, damnation, and the torments of hell. The schemata presented were chosen on the basis of their importance and prevalence in the central repertories of music for courtly chambers, for court opera theaters, and for the more progressive chapels. Because music in the major mode came to dominate this repertory, especially in the second half of the eighteenth century, the examples presented here are overwhelmingly in the major mode.
Readers with a low tolerance for this sort of technical minutia might now wish to skip ahead to the following chapter, taking it for granted that eighteenth-century musicians played by eighteenth-century rules. For others who would like to understand how "a Si, a Mi, & a Sharp" could each trigger the "mi-rule," I provide the following excursus on eighteenthcentury solmization. Don, A DEER . . The seven-syllable solfege in use at the Paris Conservatory for generations provides a unique verbal tag for every step of the diatonic scale: E x.